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Friday, 30 November 2007
The Teddy Bear Incident
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This is the kind of incident -- with one potential victim, and that victim in this case a 54-year-old schoolteacher who, newly arrived in Sudan, and naive as so many about Islam, meets with the primitive nature of Islam.

For we can all recognize, instantly grasp, the teacher's innocence, just as we could all see the innocence of those Bulgarian nurses held for eight years by the Libyans, raped and tortured and threatened repeatedly with execution. And we know the story, of how she allowed her little seven-year-old charges to vote on the name they wanted to give the little teddy bear, little seven-year-old Muslim children not yet sufficiently brainwashed into every element of Islam, just the way some of the younger children, the American soldiers in Iraq have found, are still....still touchingly sweet, human, recognizable in their behavior, even genuinely friendly and grateful. But just give those children a little time, a little more socializing into Islam, a few more years learning from their elders, and soon enough learn to be otherwise, learn to be shifty meretricious, hostile to those American soldiers handing them candy, soccer balls, whatever else those American soldiers, Thidwicks on the Tigris, are in the business of handing out.

The innocence of this lady was also the innocence of Daniel Pearl, who though he had written about Muslims, had grown up in a family with a mother who recalled, a bit too nostalgically, stories about her life in Baghdad as a Jew (which she had left as a small child, and no doubt the stories were those of her parents, who remembered only the good, at the very time when, because of the British and the aftermath of the British presence, Jews in Baghdad had temporarily flourished or, later, at least been left alone -- until the "Farhud" of June 1-2, 1941, when hundreds were killed), and who was unschooled in Islam and too trusting. And then there was that young American boy, who grew up in a household with a father of the far left, who was sure everyone in the world was fine, save possibly American right-wing capitalists, and gave his son the same terminally naive worldview, which son, Michael Berg, flew up, on his own, mind you, to Iraq to "help" the "people of Iraq" in building up their country. And for his pains, he was decapitated, to shouts of Allahu Akbar, on camera.

The schoolteacher in Khartoum, who taught not in a primitive village, but in a school for the children of Western diplomats and of the Sudanese elite -- akin to the American School in Kuwait City and other such schools, especially Christian-run schools, all over the Muslim world that the Muslim elite of course is eager to send its children too, recognizing that only the schools run, say, by Jesuits in Baghdad, or nuns in Pakistan, are likely to provide an education far superior to any offered by a Muslim-run school (that eagerness to have one's own children attend schools run by Americans or Europeans, often Catholic schools, and then to attend university in the West, does not translate into any recognition that something must be wrong with Islam and societies suffused with Islam -- and only the denial of such possibilities will force Muslims to begin to think in those terms, as they should, as we must create the conditions that will force them to do so).

The poor lady is no doubt very upset. But the case, from the viewpoint of Infidels, and the close-up look at the behavior of those screaming crowds calling for her death -- that is good, that is useful, that is the kind of thing Western television, which does not know how to cover something unseen -- the texts and tenets of Islam -- will be sure to cover.

Very welcome.

The Teddy Bear Incident.

It's like "Perdicaris Alive or Raisuli Dead." There is an individual life at stake -- the life of someone with whom all of us can identify, and whom none of us can fault. We might, any one of us, in the West, have asked our seven-year-old charges to "name that bear." We might, sweetly, have thought -- "Muhammad is the name of three-quarters of the kids in the class, so why not let them name the bear Muhammad."

We might. Once. But not now. Now we hear the screams for death and won't forget them. We know that the ludicrous government of an absurd place called the Sudan has tried and sentenced this lady. We are no longer in the mood, as we might have been, to take such places seriously. Or at least, to treat them with any respect. Why should we?

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Posted on 11/30/2007 10:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Comments
5 May 2013
Send an emailMaria
Me pardonnerez-vous la louneugr d un de9veloppement ?Il existe en France un bon nombre de musulmans (de toutes origines ethniques, y compris frane7aise, pour autant que ce soit une ethnie) cadres ou profession libe9rale qui vivent tre8s bien. Ils restent tre8s discrets parce qu il y a bien un proble8me de perception. Pour eux, sortir du placard reviendrait e0 mettre leur carrie8re sur une voie de garage ou perdre l essentiel de leur cliente8le. Ce qui explique que les actuels embryons d instances repre9sentatives soient toujours encombre9s par les dinosaures de l apre8s colonisation. J e9crivais e0 une amie ame9ricaine : je n ai jamais ve9cu en banlieue et je n ai dfb eatre controle9 que 2 fois dans ma vie (dont une fois e0 Asnie8res). Les banlieusards, c est 3 ou 4 fois par semaineā€¦ Il me semble, mais je ne suis pas un expert, qu il faut de9doubler le proble8me : en France se sont constitue9s des ghettos, il va bien falloir l admettre, mais sur une base sociale. Or il se trouve que l actuel sous-lupen-prole9tariat frane7ais est, majoritairement, d origine africaine (pour le dire tre8s vite). Je pense que ce que nous voyons actuellement ce sont les de9laisse9s qui atteignent enfin e0 leurs fifteen minutes warholiennes (les dealers, comme les inte9gristes, restent terre9s). Espe9rons que cela permettra une prise de conscience de la part de l ensemble des acteurs. Quand e0 l image de l islam en France, outre les terribles de9ge2ts faits par les inte9gristes, il est amusant (?) de constater que certains cliche9s restent vivaces depuis la reconquista et l inquisition (Renan ayant pu servir de relais e0 l occasion). On retrouve ces ste9re9otypes meame chez nos amis neo-cons. Qui ne sont donc pas si neo que e7a.Est-il besoin de souligner que les musulmans de9crits plus haut sont tre8s attache9s aux valeurs re9publicaines ? Peut-eatre discuteraient-ils l orientation de quelques lois, mais dans le cadre du de9bat de9mocratique.c7a prendra peut-eatre une ou deux ge9ne9rations avant que les choses ne se calment, et qu un ve9ritable vivre ensemble puisse se construire en plein lumie8re. La Re9publique, elle meame, ne s est pas faite en 1 jour.PS: Bien sfbr que l inte9grisme pousse sur le terreau de la mise8re sociale des laisse9s pour compte. Au nord comme au sud de la Me9diterrane9e. Il attire aussi dans ses rets ceux qui sont de9racine9s culturellement, bien qu un minimum e9duque9s. Mais e7a ferait un post bcp trop long que d en parler ici.Cordialement

30 Nov 2007
Phillip Schwartz
What about the kids punishment, their the ones who voted!